Headaches

How to Get Rid of Tension Headaches

Headaches can be caused by many factors, but one of the most common causes of the malady is everyday stress. Work, school, and personal issues can take their toll on your mind as well as your body. If you’re too tense or anxious about things taking place in your life, you may end up suffering from a persistent, throbbing headache that’s difficult to recover from. Here are some ways to get rid of tension headaches.

What are Tension Headaches?

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to get away from the strains and pains of modern living. For many people, the psychological and emotional effects of stress can manifest themselves physically, in terms of appearance and physical pain. Tension headaches are one of the side-effects of day-to-day stress.

Headaches caused by stress can take the following forms:

  • General headaches. A mild, throbbing headache is common among students and employees who do a lot of mental work. Examinations and deadlines can cause people to have headaches that can make them feel uncomfortable, but most people would rather go through the discomfort of a headache than to call in sick from work or school.
  • Migraines. Migraines are headaches that take place on only one side of the head. Most migraines affect the left side of the brain, and may be so severe that you need to take medication, or a day off to relax.
  • Severe headaches. Some headaches may not actually be caused by tension, but by more serious illnesses and diseases. If your headache is very severe but you’re sure it’s not caused by tension or stress, it’s best to consult your doctor.

Relax

You can relieve a headache by taking as much time as you need to relax and to get the stress out of your system. A headache is one of the ways your body tells you that you’re too stressed, and that you need a break from it all. A day of complete bed rest usually relieves a headache, but you may need to take an extended vacation to cope with daily stress. The key is to give your body enough time to relax and release all the pent-up tension in you.

Medication

Some people can withstand the pain of a headache and brave through it, but other people may need the relief immediately. Analgesics (also known as painkillers) help relieve the pain of a headache by blocking pain receptors, or act on the nervous system, until such time that the pain is reduced or eliminated. There are two ways to use an analgesic:

  • Oral analgesics. Most analgesics come in the form of a pill, tablet, syrup, or capsule. Some of the more common analgesics available on the market today include paracetamol, naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. Some analgesics are marketed as “fast-acting,” which means that the effect of the drug can be felt minutes after it is taken.
  • Topical analgesics are creams, ointments, or drops that have an effect similar to oral analgesics, although they are administered externally. Ointments for pain can be bought from pharmacies. Lidocaine patches, when cut and trimmed to the appropriate size, can also help reduce pain and relieve the headache.

When using medication, make sure to read the inserts very carefully to see if you may have any allergic or adverse reactions to the treatment. You need to consult your doctor, however, if you need higher doses of a painkiller, or if over-the-counter painkillers don’t work for you.

Alternative Remedies

Some people prefer to use alternative, natural remedies to cure tension headaches. The goal of alternative therapy is not only to get rid of the headache, but also to get rid of the stress and tension that causes the illness. Here are some of the remedies you can use to get rid of a headache:

  • Aromatherapy. Aromatic herbs and flowers can be turned to potpourri. Some people also sleep or surround themselves with calming smells from scented candles or incense sticks. In Chinese medicine, the pungent smell of a substance called “white flower oil” can be used to cure a headache.
  • Massage therapy. Most people usually massage their heads or temples to make the headache go away, but it also helps to have a full-body massage to help release the pent-up tension in your body.
  • Yoga and meditation. Yoga is becoming a popular activity and exercise among many people. The great thing about recreational yoga is that its goal is to get rid of stress and tension. Many yoga classes and sessions are held in some gyms and establishments, or you can learn yoga on your own through tapes and books available from bookstores or the Internet.

See a Doctor

Some cases of headache may be so severe that you need to consult with your doctor regarding the real cause of your headache, or if there are any other illnesses associated with your headache. Tension headaches may be consistent with other more serious conditions like heart disease, hypertension, or emotional and psychological disorders. If your headaches are becoming too painful or if they happen way too frequently, have yourself checked for illnesses, diseases, or other medical conditions.

Tension and stress can contribute to many diseases, even something as minor as a headache. With these steps, you can relieve your headache as well as the stresses that come with daily living. For more information regarding this article, read how to cure a headache naturally.

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About the author

Nicole Harding

2 Comments

  • There are things you can do for tension and stress related headaches. I try to find a natural relief first, before turning to over the counter medications. One thing that really helps me is using an aromatherapy eye pillow. It’s great for treating stress and anxiety issues as well as insomnia and sleep disorders. What I have to found to work best for me is an eye pillow, right out of the freezer. I use a peppermint scented one because it opens up my sinuses and that helps me to breathe a lot better and helps any sinus or tension related headaches. The cold flax seed inside the eye pillow surrounds my eyes and temples which helps to reduce swelling and stress around the eyes. The weight of the flax seed applies just enough acupressure to soothe and relax my facial muscles. The eye pillow also block out all light, when the pain is so bad it just makes you squint you eyes.

    I searched online and found several sites that had them. The one I decided to go with was A Touch of Satin. I liked them because their ingredients were organic, and that was important to me. They had an unbelievably large selection of patterns and solid colors and I like the feel of satin on my skin. They also had a page on their site that talked about the benefits of their aromatherapy scents. They also had lavender and that is suppose to be good for migraines. It was very interesting. Well, I hope this helps you. Good luck!

  • Great Article.

    I have been under a lot of stress and i have been having really bad headaches.
    Since reading your article, i have found new ways to handle my stress tensions headaches.

    After i found your site, i begin looking for other sites on how to relieve my stress

    Thanks again

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